Smart Assembly


Assembly systems and technologies are key processes in the manufacturing of complex products. Focus areas in this theme are robust design, tolerance analysis, sequencing, path planning, assembly ergonomics, human/machine interactions, resource allocation and energy optimization.

Theme leader is Associate Professor Kristina Wärmefjord, Chalmers

The potential of increased digitalization, with better product and process knowledge, is used in an interlinked approach, where the conditions for each individual product are optimized to reach highest product quality with limited resource consumption. New materials give new manufacturing possibilities, but may also require new joining methods that need to be included in simulations. The area Smart Assembly contributes to the development of new theories, methods and digital tools that support highly efficient and effective assembly processes.

Important research areas

  • Robust design and tolerance analysis
  • Assembly/disassembly and sequencing
  • Joining (welding/clamping) sequence optimization
  • Simulation of new material/process/joining methods
  • Assembly ergonomics
  • Resource allocation and control
  • Energy optimization 

The area Smart Assembly contributes to the development of new methods and tools that support assembly and design for assembly. Expected results are more effective and efficient assembly solutions for the industrial partners. The increased focus on product platforms in the automotive and manufacturing industry requires efficient assembly processes, fewer try-outs, fewer prototypes and fewer test-series. Tougher demands on sustainability drive new light-weight solutions with new manufacturing and assembly methods as a consequence. The ability to simulate and optimize new assembly concepts with respect to geometrical quality, cycle time, ergonomics, energy consumption, environmental load etc. is a key in a fully virtual product realization process. 

The simulation platforms, RD&T, CCM, IPS and Sequence Planner are all tools that will be further developed to meet these needs. 

Ongoing research questions 

Research Challenges (RCs) and preliminary Research Questions (RQs) addressed in the theme are:

Research challenge 1: To improve assembly simulation capabilities for increased accuracy and efficiency

RQ1: How can material properties, thermal effects and welding be included in non-rigid variation simulation? (GA)
RQ2: How can geometry data from forming simulation be integrated in variation simulation? (GA, SE)
RQ3: How can path planning algorithms be extended to support fast and energy optimized in-line motion planning? (GMP, A)
RQ4: How can manual and robotic assisted assembly operations be optimized with respect to geometrical quality, ergonomics and cycle time (GA, GMP, A)

Research challenge 2: To extend simulation models for real-time control and optimization (Digital Twin)

RQ5: How can a Digital Twin for geometry assurance, motion planning and automation be developed and connected? (GA, GMP, A)
RQ6: How can geometry scan data be gathered and adapted for use in Digital Twin, Process Control, Root Cause Analysis and Machine Learning? (GA, GMP, SE, A)
RC7: How can augmented reality be integrated in the Digital Twin concept to support manual assembly? (GA)

Page manager Published: Wed 31 Aug 2022.